Medici, a powerhouse of Italian cuisine

IF THE political dynasty and royal house of Medici produced popes and regent queens during its political and financial rule in the Tuscan region, this modern-day Medici conjures Italian cuisine worthy of the bloodline’s stature.

Located in along the most-desired address of Langsuan Road in Bangkok, the Medici Kitchen & Bar is discreetly tucked on the lower level of one of the city’s luxurious boutique hotels, the Hotel Muse, a member of Accor’s M gallery, a select collection of design-oriented hotels across the globe.

Accessible via an impressive wide wooden winding staircase in a corner of the hotel’s chic lobby, Medici seamlessly incorporates its look with Hotel Muse’s late 19th century “fin de siecle” motif. The setting is described as “a seductive mix of neo-industrial design with modern lines and surfaces with rusticated elements such a brick walls, wooden casks and a BBQ spit”. Featured within the vast dining space is an open kitchen, a well-integrated bar space for apertivo or tapas-style dishes and casual dining, columns of wine chillers that cleverly doubles as area dividers, and two private rooms— ‘Caterina’ and ‘Lorenzo’, which allow for further exclusivity without separation from the main area’s lively atmosphere. “Medici promises a dining experience that is cosmopolitan and yet based on Italian cuisine fundamentals. It is a place inspired by food, music and art,” said Zack Tinwong, the hotel’s E-commerce Manager.

From the land of Medici is the perfect man for the job—Tuscan-born Francesco Lenzi, the restaurant’s Executive Chef whose determination to cook an authentic Italian food can be clearly seen on the sumptuous listing he conceptualized for Medici— traditional family recipes cooked with intricate care and best-quality ingredients. This chef’s culinary experience spans for more than ten years, honed by the renowned cooking institute in Rome, the Gamero Rosso.

An invitation to Medici was extended from the chef himself and Khun Zach. Though I had free reign to choose the evening’s fare from the mouth-watering menu (one evening is definitely not enough to enjoy each delectable entry like the Australian beef topped with French foie gras & black truffle from Norcia, the Risotto with Taleggio cheese and smoked ham in truffle sauce or the grilled tuna steak in sesame crust with fresh tomatoes, black olives and Italian basil), I left it to the chef to whip up the specialties he wished to showcase, like I always do.

For starters, Lenzi presented the Tuna Tartar with Balsamic Pearls (which resembles caviar), avocado, celery, carrots and lemon oil dressing, and yogurt-garlic on the side. The taste is lightly flavored and quite refreshing, and the tuna was very fresh that it melted in the mouth.

The entrée was a spin on one of the chef’s specialties— the grilled All Natural 150 days grain fed Australian beef. What was usually served as a single cut on the dish was presented with a twist for this meal—as Rib-eye beef cubes on a skewer on a bed of organic salad with rotisserie-roasted potatoes on the side. The beef was grilled to perfection.

Then came the most important part of any meal (for me, at least)—the dessert. The chef presented two of the bestselling dishes from the menu—Medici’s version of Molten Chocolate Lava Cake and Profiterole with strawberry topping. Both were heavenly with its light tinge of sweetness, the bittersweet taste of the dark chocolate was perfect and profiteroles’ chilled cream filling blended perfectly with the warm strawberry topping.

To complete the Medici dining experience, the evening was capped with classical art via a live opera performance. Khun Zack’s words was brought back to mind, this place is truly inspired by food, art and music. Thank you Hotel Muse, Khun Zack and Chef Lenzi for this wonderful powerhouse Tuscan treat. I will be back for more.

Medici Kitchen & Bar is at the lower ground floor of Hotel Muse Bangkok at 55/555 Langsuan Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok, Thailand.

Visit their website at www.hotelmusebangkok.com.

For great deals on this hotel, visit http://www.agoda.com/asia/thailand/bangkok/hotel_muse_bangkok.html

*****

(For more travel & lifestyle stories, visit http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/ and http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/)

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